"That's about the time that she broke up with me/No one should take themselves so seriously/With many years ahead to fall in line/Why would you wish that on me?/I never want to act my age."  These lyrics from "What's My Age Again?" by Blink-182 sum up the band's pretty consistent message, and that comes through pretty clearly on their 2005 Greatest Hits album.

Blink-182 has always straddled the line between pop and punk.  On the one hand, their songs feature aggressive percussion from Travis Barker mixed with snide vocals from Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge.  On the other hand, their music includes catchy guitar hooks and mostly songs about women and dating.  It's appropriate that their first really big hit, "All the Small Things," works just as well as a parody of boy band music as a song very much in the style of boy bands.

This mix may keep Blink-182 out of the roughest, unpolished, edgy punk arena, but it's also pretty appealing.  The songs have a funny, often self-depricating side ("My girlfriend takes collect calls from the road/And it doesn't seem to matter that I'm lacking in the bulge") and even manage some serious songs (the pre-suicide "Adam's Song" and "Staying Together for the Kids") while trying new sounds with "Feeling This" and "I Miss You."

The biggest problem with this Greatest Hits collection is what's missing.  While there will always songs that can't fit onto a collection (I wish "Anthem Part 2" was here), there are only two new songs here; and while their cover of "Another Girl, Another Planet" is very good, it first appeared on an MTV show.   There are no rarities or live tracks here that would have offered more than what's on the albums.

Blink-182 Greatest Hits is a ptetty good sampling of some kick-ass music from a semi-punk band.  I'm sorry there wasn't more new or rare music here, but this is still a good collection of kick-ass songs.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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